Omanyala, Obiri inspire athletes at NOC-K Elite Youth camp

NOC-K Elite Youth camp

Commonwealth 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala and two times Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri pose with junior athletes during the closing ceremony of NOC-K Elite Youth Camp at Merishaw School in Isinya, Kajiado County on January 18, 2022.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • The two Olympians were speaking during the closing ceremony of the Elite Youth Camp on Wednesday at Merishaw School, Isinya, Kajiado County
  • Obiri, the 2020 Tokyo and 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m silver medallist, told the youngsters that she too still harbours the dream of winning gold at the Olympics after several attempts
  • Maluki said that he believes the juniors will continue to pursue excellence in their respective fields adding that NOC-K will continue with more camps in April, August and December

Commonwealth and Africa 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala and two times Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Hellen Obiri have urged Kenya’s budding sportsmen and women to dare dream.

The two Olympians were speaking during the closing ceremony of the Elite Youth Camp on Wednesday at Merishaw School, Isinya, Kajiado County.

“Everyone discouraged me from running short races. In fact, most of my friends wanted me to stay in rugby,” said Omanyala, who told the 250 juniors that his ultimate dream is to win an Olympic gold medal.

“You also need to set your goals and work towards achieving them,” said Omanyala, the Africa 100m record holder, who now targets victory at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

“This is a dream I had, and I will still pursue it just like you all at the Paris Summer Games,” said Omanyala.

Obiri, the 2020 Tokyo and 2016 Rio Olympics 5,000m silver medallist, told the youngsters that she too still harbours the dream of winning gold at the Olympics after several attempts.

“I have not given up and I will still pursue it at a bigger stage in a marathon. I can only imagine how much more you can also do at your tender age,” said Obiri, the 2017 and 2019 World 5,000m champion.

The 33-year-old Obiri preached the gospel of running clean to the youth during the closing ceremony that was presided over by the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) first deputy president Shadrack Maluki, deputy treasurer John Ogolla and executive committee member Winnie Kamau.

Maluki said that he believes the juniors will continue to pursue excellence in their respective fields adding that NOC-K will continue with more camps in April, August and December.

Maluki disclosed that sports like swimming, shooting and rowing who didn’t attend the camp will conduct their events separately.

The athletes also planted trees at the school as part of NOC-K’s sustainability commitment to plant 10,000 trees in 2023.

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